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Marijuana - Medical Marijuana Cards - How Long Does Marijuana Stay In The Bloodstream?

Under an April 26, 2018 ruling, Michigan voters will have the opportunity to vote on whether to legalize recreational use of marijuana; this will be on the ballot this coming November (as reported in the Detroit Free Press)

Currently, marijuana is illegal under state law, unless there is a “medical marijuana” license or card, under MCLA §333.26424, and subject to the limits in that law (2.5 oz possession limits, 12 plants kept in a lockup etc, possession at all times of marijuana registry card, prescription “in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship”, with a prescription coming after the physician has completed a full assessment of the qualifying patient's medical history, or for otherwise stating that, in the physician's professional opinion, a patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms…). There are various other protections afforded those who are on the marijuana registry.

You should bear two things in mind about “medical marijuana”, under the current state of Michigan law. First, bear in mind the strong skepticism maintained, rightly or wrongly, by Michigan judges on just how legitimate medical marijuana is. Unfortunately, the circumstance under which it is often currently prescribed, supports that strong skepticism.

I have attended numerous bench bar conferences, which judges have distinguished marijuana cases in which, on one hand, there are unspecified and vague complaints, with medical marijuana being prescribed by a doctor the patient barely knows… In comparison with the different situation of a significant and specific medical diagnosis, rendered by a doctor with the patient has had an ongoing normal doctor-patient relationship.

As well, medical marijuana creates suspicion among judges and other members of the public, owing to the manner in which it is sold and distributed.  Two stories will illustrate.

In one example, a client who wanted to pursue a medical marijuana certification, went to a “clinic”, and was greeted by a provocatively dressed receptionist, who had a tip jar on her desk. She helpfully provided him with a form, which he filled out, and which was returned to him (without examination), with either the requested certification, or the precursor documentation. In plain English, he did not have to see a doctor at all.

In another situation, a friend of mine is taking care of her husband; both are anti-marijuana conservatives, in their 70s.  Sadly, she has had her hands full, in dealing with the pain and disability her husband has had to endure, as a result of  his cancer. At wits end, she listened to a recommendation from a mutual friend, that she pursue either medical marijuana, or “Marinol”, which is a marijuana-based drug administered in more traditional medical settings.  She shared with me that one of the larger hospital systems in southeastern Michigan refused to consider marijuana-based therapy. When she finally found a vendor she thought she could trust, she related many of the same “sketchy” circumstances referred to in the “tip jar” story above. One assumes that this will change as the industry matures here in Michigan.

Possession of marijuana can be charged based not only on the possession of the actual marijuana itself, but also based on the presence of active or metabolite marijuana in the bloodstream.

The medical marijuana statute makes clear that persons cannot be charged with possession, if they are in lawful possession of a medical marijuana card.

In any event, where it becomes legal or not, one cannot drive under the influence of marijuana; in a similar fashion, one cannot drive under the influence of alcohol, even though it is a legal, non-contraband substance.

Therefore, you may need to be concerned about the THC content in your bloodstream, either in the context of a criminal case (where judges often order you ON THE SPOT, to go test), or in a drivers license restoration setting, where you have to submit a clean test in advance of a request for hearing on restoring your license.

Make sure that your blood and urine will test clean, when you go in for evaluation.  \

Marijuana metabolites remain testable and present in your system.  It is better not to smoke at all, of course, but you cannot turn back the clock, so you might want to think about when to start the process, if you think this is going to be a problem. 

Usually, it will take about 30-50 days for the leftover cannabis residue (called "metabolites") to clear your system, depending on volume and frequency of use; the longest time noted in the literature, at least that I have seen is 77 days, meaning that person had evidence of marijuana in their bloodstream 77 days after use. 

Here is a calculator, that might guide you in your thinking, as to how long marijuana might stay in your blood stream (I cannot vouch for its accuracy, but the related site contains some interesting information).  I am also attaching links to articles here and here, so that you can do some further reading on the subject.

Call me if I can be of help to you on this subject.

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